Frisian leadership has expressed an unwillingness to cooperate with new cabinet demands regarding province-wide nitrogen reduction issued on the 10th of June. The new demands, which would see Friesland reduce emissions in certain regions by up to 95 percent, was deemed an “unpleasant surprise” by provincial nitrogen deputy, Klaas Fokkinga.
The provincial leadership feels that the already in place Frisian Nitrogen Implementation Program 2030 is in full compliance with the cabinet’s Nitrogen Act that was originally implemented in 2019. According to Nieuwe Oogst, the current plan is centered around emission reduction based on specific areas within Friesland, rather than the newly proposed act which would base reductions on larger regions within the province as a whole.
Frisian farmer coalitions, such as the Dutch Dairy Farmers’ Union (NMV), and Agricultural and Horticultural Organization (LTO), claim that the new demands are unfeasible and would lead to a reduction in Frisian farmland.
“The modeling is too thin. It touches an important sector. We cannot yet foresee the consequences, but it would be dramatic if, in addition to energy, we would soon also be dependent on food imports,” said Klaas Kielstra, party chairman for the Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD) in response to the new plan, reports Nieuwe Oogst.
Following the announcement of the new nitrogen demands, farmers formed a blockade in front of Christianne van der Wal, Minister of Nature and Nitrogen, in protest. While in opposition to the protests in front of van Der Wal’s home, the LTO also threatened additional protests in front of government institutes in Den Haag, as well as widespread strikes should the new plan remain un-amended.
The Tweede Kamer (Dutch national council) has not yet provided clarification on the situation. The extent to which the council will alter the plans, if at all, remains to be seen.
Looking to read more on farmer protests? Check out our coverage on a recent demonstration on the Grote Markt in Groningen here.